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Non-anaphylactic reactions

Non-anaphylactic reactions

We have a dairy and soy allergic son who’s 19 months old. The thing I struggle with most is managing people’s reactions when they find out that he doesn’t (or hasn’t to this point) have an anaphylactic reaction to his allergens. He suffers from slower, less “severe” reactions like eczema, blistering eczema in his diaper area, itchy eyes, stuffy nose, trouble sleeping, etc. (When I say less severe I say it with mild sarcasm since his last flare of eczema in his diaper area took 4 weeks to completely heal and caused bleeding, open sores on his bottom and penis- that’s pretty severe to me…)
Most people are flexible, cooperative, and concerned when we say he has food allergies but when they learn that his reactions aren’t life-threatening they take us much less seriously. It’s a hard balance to achieve because we are both thankful that he has so far avoided any kind of anaphylaxis, we also want people to understand that he does have real symptoms that cause him real discomfort if his exposures aren’t managed.
Does anyone else have experience dealing with non-anaphylactic reactions in their allergy children?

Comments

  1. Laura that does not sound fun! I wonder are you concerned that they will give him these products b/c they don’t think he “really” has an allergy, or is that you are bothered in how they respond? Sometimes, they might say something like “Oh thank goodness he’s never gone into anaphylactic shock!” not to invalidate what does happen to him, but maybe because they don’t know what else to say. If at the end of the day they are compliant with his restrictions, then I wouldn’t worry how they seem to take the news. Of course, If they seem to blow off his dietary restrictions that’s a big no no, and if you think they are not understanding what he’s going through showing them some photos of horrible eczema might help them understand exactly how painful a slip-up can be.

    As a side note my son has a peanut allergy and while he’s never been anaphylactic, we treat it as he could be b/c it could be so serious and his testing has shown he probably could be. I’ve had parents seem not to understand, but when I show them the bag of epi-pens and Benadryl that I carry around, they seem to get the message. And if they don’t, it’s no skin off my back, but he won’t be spending anytime with them unsupervised!

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    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has an allergy child that’s never been anaphylactic. Sometimes I feel like we’re the only ones who are in that boat. To answer your question, yes I’m concerned that they will not be as vigilant about what they offer him to eat. I feel comfortable that his school is treating his restrictions with the right amount of attention but I sometimes struggle with family and other parents. Things like family gatherings, play dates, etc.

      I’m sure if his allergy sticks around it will get easier as he gets older and can tell people what his restrictions are but while he’s this young, I feel caught between watching him like a hawk and trusting that people are really listening to our situation.

      Thanks for the input!

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